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A Wedding Giveaway Makes One Couples Dreams Come True

Minnesota Bride's wedding giveaway helped make this couple's dream come true in this colorful summer wedding.
By: 
Sherri Hildebrandt

“This is a love story, against all odds.” That phrase sums up Alex and Romance Burrell’s winning entry for Minnesota Bride’s wedding giveaway competition last summer. The contest was a collaboration of the best of the Twin Cities wedding industry to show that, despite COVID-related disruptions of so many wedding plans, the pandemic couldn’t cancel love.

And the “prize”? A fabulous wedding for two crazy-in-love newlyweds, the culmination of efforts by more than a dozen wedding partners, nine bridesmaids and nine groomsmen — plus the newlyweds, of course — says Brooke Lyn, founder of Pop Up Weddings MN. It all happened at the Grand 1858 at Minneapolis Event Centers on August 29, 2021.

Alex and Romance’s journey of love, shared on Instagram, was voted the favorite, and the couple couldn’t have been more delighted. Here (lightly edited) is their story, in Alex’s own words:
“This is a story that not even the greatest novelist could write. Surely only God could match two people so entirely different. Family, upbringing, race, culture, background, language, traditions, country, continent! This is a love story that no one thought could happen. This is a love story, against all odds.

“Romance, the woman who would become the love of my life, had recently escaped an abusive three-year relationship through which she received her greatest blessing, an amazing bundle of joy named Aiden. I had never been on a date. She hated me at first. … It took a while, but through a lot of time spent time together, laughing, serving, singing, praying and studying the Bible, we became best friends.

“Our adventures included park playdates and African foods. We took multiple trips to the emergency room, we took care of two kids together for a single mother while she gave birth to her third. We stayed up all night cooking for events, we drove through snowstorms, got in one car accident and narrowly avoided another, and took countless trips to daycare and back.

“Being with Romance has been the greatest adventure of my life. I saw her graduate from college as an exchange student from the Ivory Coast with baby Aiden literally strapped to her back. Witnessing this mother sacrifice for her child made me more attracted to her. She is the strongest woman I have ever met. Through all of this, even there being over a foot of height difference, and despite many people in today’s world not believing we belong together, our love bloomed, all three of us.”

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